The Basics of Poker


In poker, players are expected to treat other players with respect. That means not talking while you’re playing, and not giving away information to your opponents. If you do, you can make your opponents feel uncomfortable and ruin their fun at the table. Moreover, you should avoid making fun of your opponents’ mistakes. Instead, try to learn from their mistakes, and use them to your advantage in the next game.

A pair in poker means that you have two cards of equal rank. In a poker game, a pair of two cards beats three cards of the same rank. In other words, a pair of jacks beats a pair of tens and a pair of aces. Similarly, a pair of six cards beats a pair of five-cards. In poker, players bet in a clockwise fashion. After betting, they have three choices: fold, raise, or call.

In most poker games, players are required to make a compulsory bet at the beginning of the game. This bet is called the ante or the blind. The dealer then deals out the cards to each player one by one. Each player must match the previous bettor’s bet, fold, or raise. Those who raise are called raisers. If there is no one left to raise the bet, the round ends.

Various variations of the game include three-card Monte and Spit-in-the-Ocean. All these variants are described later in this chapter. There are also separate games for groups of more than 10 players.